Have you ever wondered how big should the pilot light be on a gas fireplace?
The fireplace was always one of the most favorite details in home decorating for its rich light and warmth. It was a place for gathering family, friends or for pure enjoyment during the cold winter days.
When you think of the fireplace, the first thoughts are warm light, wood, golden sparks, romance, a cup of some warm sweet drink, etc. But, today, as new technologies developed, it is not so rare to replace the classic fireplace with an electric one. If you would love to get a cheaper vendor for saving gas bills, you want to check Simply Switch energy comparison.
These new fireplaces are controlled with special electronic devices – you can light the fireplace with a simple press of a button.
Many of you, especially people who have a traditional fireplace in the homes, know about a certain blue with a yellow light flame in the system. For those who don’t know, this is known as a pilot light. Most of the gas fireplaces function with the standing pilot light. To be more precise, the pilot light is a small flame kept lit in different appliances. So let’s see how the pilot light actually works and what it does.
How does the pilot light work?
It is quite simple actually. The pilot light ignites the spark that lights the gas which comes out of the main burner of the fireplace by releasing gas into the burner.
The system of ignition heats to a specific temperature which then activates sensors thermocouple sensors. Those sensors send a signal to the pilot light. In case the pilot light goes off, it cools off quickly. If it turns off the electricity stops being generated and the valve shuts.
If you want to light the fireplace again, you will have to do it manually. There should be a button for opening the valve. It takes about 30 seconds to reheat and you have to keep the button pressed until it is done.
More about pilot lights:
The main downside of the pilot light is a great amount of wasted gas. This is the sole reason many modern appliances today do not have it. In exchange, they use the so-called piezoelectric spark to light the burner.
If you want to examine the work of the ignition system, it is advised for you to check out how the pilot light looks like first. Is the pilot light too big or is it too bright? If it is, you might encounter a problem with your fireplace.
But, you should know that the color of a good functioning pilot light may vary for various reasons. For example, there is a difference if using natural gas or propane as a fuel. Natural gas gives out blue light with a yellow tip while propane gives out a green flame with a yellow tip.
How to inspect the operation of the standing pilot light:
- You will have to remove the furnace cover panel first to reveal the burner and the pilot light. You will then be able to see the flame of the pilot light.
- Pay close attention to the color of the pilot flame. Is it blue with a yellow tip or is it green? If the system is working well, the color of the pilot light will be blue with yellow. The light should be about half-inch long to cover the end of the thermocouple tip.
- If the pilot flame is not well-tuned, and the flame is too forceful, it will further malfunction and create noise.
How to fix the pilot light:
The pilot flame won’t be able to reach the sensors if the flame is too long. The bright, orange light indicates an error in igniting the system. This kind of light does not produce the required temperature level. There is no enough heat to start up the thermocouple. It won’t trigger any further damages to the fireplace, yet, it won’t be able to ignite properly.
It is important to remember, no matter if the flame looks like candlelight or flame on the gas hob or it is not big enough to start up the system – the issue is with your fireplace system.
In some cases, you can try to fix the fireplace issue by yourself. But, if you’re not sure, it is always better to consult an expert for this kind of problem.
Here is some advice if you do decide to try doing it on your own:
- Use a needle or anything similar (a thin nail maybe) to clean the aperture. This might seem funny and not so important at first, but oddly it can sometimes be the only reason for the problem.
- If you look closely enough, you will be able to see a tiny screw on the pilot valve body. This screw adjusts the standing pilot flame. If you cannot find it, consult the manufacturer’s instructions.
- When you find it, turn it using the screwdriver to adjust and fix the size of the flame. Turning it in one direction will increase the flame and in the other will decrease it.
Some fireplaces even have the lo-hi button installed. This makes it even more simple, so if you have one – use it to fix the flame.
Should the pilot light always be on in a gas fireplace?
There are different opinions among the people when it comes to this question.
There are two types of the fireplace. The older, traditional ones, use the so-called “continuous pilot light”. The pilot light remains lit almost all the time. And there is a modern type of fireplace which is more energy-efficient – pilot light is lit only when the fireplace is on.
As for the traditional fireplace, the standing pilot will remain on unless it is turned off manually. In this case, you will always be able to see the flame. If you, in any case, don’t see it, then you can be sure something is not working right.
Some people share an opinion keeping the pilot light on all the time is a needless waste of gas. There is no point in keeping it on if you are not using it during the summer season for example.
Others point to some benefits such as moisture or insect prevention. This can clog the system and cause many problems. This is true, but electricity bills might come too high after the winter. You will be paying for something you didn’t actually spend. We can all agree this is not an advantage whatsoever.
In the end, the best and the most rational solution for all is to lower gas waste and lower bills. Possible problems can be avoided simply by having the system regularly cleaned and properly adjusted. Lower bills and enjoying fully the coziness of your home sweet home!
We hope this article will be useful and contribute to your cozy, warm evenings before the fireplace.
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